For the first time, the Bartow-based Florida Blueberry Growers Association plans newspaper advertisements in produce trade and consumer publications and advertising in Delta Airlines in-flight magazines to tell retail buyers and consumers about the availability of Florida blueberries.
The effort also includes an e-mail campaign targeting U.S. and Canadian produce buyers.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture specialty crop grant administered through the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland will provide blueberry recipes and other materials to newspapers and magazines and provide consumers preparation ideas.
The campaign is set to run through spring.
On Delta Airlines flights, passengers reading the airline magazine will see advertisements promoting Florida"s season.
"Our concern continues to be that people simply aren"t aware of what they"re buying when they pick up a clamshell of blueberries in March, April and May. Where did it come from? How fresh is it?" said association president Bill Braswell, owner of the Auburndale, Fla.-based Polkdale Farms and Juliana Plantation and farm manager for Clear Springs Packing LLC in Bartow.
The organization is investing $30,000 into the promotions.
The Manor-based Georgia Blueberry Commission plans to work with wholesomemommy.com, a food blogger, to promote Georgia blueberries with posts and recipes during the season, Kilroy said.
In May and June, the commission plans to work with chef and cookbook author Hugh Acheson.
The Atlanta chef, who hosts the "Top Chef" TV show, will make TV appearances promoting local produce and Georgia blueberries.
"Hopefully, this will help increase consumption. That"s what we have to get, more people toting them off the grocery store shelves,"said commission chairman Joe Cornelius, president of Manor-based J& B Blueberry Farms Inc.
The North Carolina Blueberry Council Inc., Atkinson, plans social media promotions.
Julie Woodcock, executive director, said the group wants to market its blueberries via its website, social media and mobile apps and upgrade its online presence.
Woodcock said she wants to make the council"s website, ncblueberry.org, more interactive, consumer-friendly and usable on mobile devices.
The council plans to run advertisement in Our State, a North Carolina magazine, and the state"s Farm Bureau monthly magazine.
Some planned tie-ins with those publications include blueberry recipes publicized May through June, Woodcock said.